Oratorio op 39 pour une femme seule : Simone Weil
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3 flûtes la 3ième prend piccolo, 3 Hautbois, le 3 ième prend le cor anglais, 2 clarinettes en sib, 1 Clarinette basse, 2 Bassons, 1 Contrebasson, 4 Cors, 4 Trompettes, 3 Trombones, le 3 ième prend le trombone basse, 1 Tuba, Timbales, 3 Percussionistes, 1 Harpe, 1 Récitant, 16 Premiers violons, 14 Seconds violons, 12 Altos, 10 Violoncelles, 8 Contrebasses à 5 cordes
Commissioned by the Orchestre National de l'Ile de France, the Oratorio op.39 for a single woman has been written during autumn 2011.
With a duration of 24mn, the work is written according to a libretto of Emmanuel Bourdieu. Six importants years describe the life of the philosopher Simone Weil.
The first year is 1923, Simone is 14 years old and is a depressive teenager. She dreams about a human ideal. The work is introduced only by the text and is later supported by the music in a very melodic and expressive universe.
1934 : Simone is grown-up and after her studies of philosophy she decides to work in a factory with the workers. She suffers in this unbearable atmosphere but « wants to meet the true life and does the experiment of misfortune. » The music illustrates the rate of the work and the infernal noise in the factory by an haunting rhythm.
In 1936 we meet Simone in Barcelona during the civil war. She is the witness of a barbaric scene where a young baker is killed. His father becomes mad. The orchestra translates the pain of the father by an orchestral color dominated by the brass and the percussions.
1938 : Simone is in the abbey of Solesme for Easter day.She prays for the first time of her life, surrounded by the monks and the silent of the abbey. She recites a poem about love. The music develops itself along the poem in a soft and meditative atmosphere.
In 1942 Simone Weil is in London. She is beside the resistants, enthusiastic defender of the freedom of people. Simone surrounds a soldier who dies in her arms.The orchestra plays a funeral ode, symbol of the death and the suffering of the human being.
24 th of August 1943 : Simone is in England and is dying. She doesn't want to die, she wants to be near the people who fights for freedom.But the death is there which will take her only 34 years old, during her full youth. The orchestra accompanies the narrator, the viola and the oboe symbolizes the suffer of Simone face to face to the death which she refuses.
The work concludes in a very expressive orchestral atmosphere. Simone is not there anymore but her work remains.